Saturday, 19 June 2010

Review - I Know It's Over / C.K. Kelly Martin

PURE. UNPLANNED. PERFECT. Those were Nick’s summer plans before Sasha stepped into the picture. With the collateral damage from his parents’ divorce still settling and Dani (his girl of the moment) up for nearly anything, complications are the last thing he needs. All that changes, though, when Nick runs into Sasha at the beach in July. Suddenly he’s neck-deep in a relationship and surprised to find he doesn’t mind in the least. But Nick’s world shifts again when Sasha breaks up with him. Then, weeks later, while Nick’s still reeling from the breakup, she turns up at his doorstep and tells him she’s pregnant. Nick finds himself struggling once more to understand the girl he can’t stop caring for, the girl who insists that it’s still over.

Review - I Know It's Over is a book that has scared me. It has received some fantastic accolades from critics and bloggers and deals with some heavy subject matter. I was scared it would not meet up to my lofty expectations. I was scared that it would.

I Know It's Over is a story that unspools in a way that slowly involves you until you are unknowingly immersed in every dimension of Nick's life. Considering it was her debut work, Martin daringly chose to tackle weighty issues - teen pregnancy, abortion, sexual identity - all from a teen male perspective. It is brave, confronting story that I won't forget in a hurry.

Martin could have attempted mimicry of teen male speak but she didn't. Instead she chose to show the similarities in the thoughts and feelings between the sexes. Only when Nick speaks to his mates are we reminded that boys aren't as communicative and open with one another as girls tend to be. There's a pause for them, a moment where they take everything in and consider, and then move forward. Nick is so busy processing most of the time that he doesn't react. That doesn't mean he doesn't care, he's just trying to catch up. Nick's story is a heart breaker in the revealing nature of his love for Sasha and his need for what she makes him. His slow and painful meltdown after their breakup is difficult to experience as we've grown to care for this guy immensely at this stage.

The honesty in which Martin tackles every facet of Nick's life is brutal, sparse and affecting. Though Sasha is a large part of the story, his interactions with his mates and his parents are similarly great. In particular his eventual honesty with his parents and their issues post-divorce really spoke to me. I wish I could find the strength to be as candid as he was. There are no issues in this book, only a story about what it means to be there for the people in your life. To be present, to listen, to comfort and to be frank. All the facets that happen to make this book a fantastically real depiction of teens today.

Confronting is a word that is used in conjunction with this book an awful lot. I am going to move in another direction - insightful, unflinching, stark and difficult.

Published: September 2008
Format: Paperback, 244 pages
Publisher: Random House
Source: purchased
Origin: USA


Anonymous said...

I really loved this book. I enjoyed reading about a familiar topic (pregnancy) through a male's perspective. I found this book to be quite honest and upfront.

Lovely review. :)

Carla said...

I've been looking at this one for a while now and your review has made my mind up. This sounds like something I need to read. I think Martin is such an amazing writer, the way she captures the feelings and thoughts of teenagers is just so honest and raw. I love the way she writes! Fabulous review once again.

Maria said...

Thanks for the great recommendation, I'd never heard of this book until now. Just added it to my wishlist. As always, great review :)

prophecygirl said...

I loved this book too. C.K.'s a fantastic writer, and I think she's the best when it comes to a male POV.

Meredith said...

This sounds like an incredible read. Thanks for reviewing it--it's definitely going on my wishlist now.

Chapter Chicks said...

Wow great review! I'll definitely be picking this book up on my next Borders trip!

CeeCee said...

Great review. I've heard so much about this one and i think it scared me off- but I'm interested in the guy perspective as I don't read that as mch in YA fiction.


Robby said...

I need to read this book, as well as her others. They all sound wonderful, and horrifying.